Almost two years into Whitman's reign at HP, the company remains basically a PC and server company in a world that's swiftly moving toward devices and services. It lacks a presence in phones and tablets, having jettisoned its webOS system under Bradley for Microsoft ( MSFT) Windows Phone, which is still a market failure, and for Google ( GOOG) Android, where it has no differentiation. Every move Whitman makes is done with flash, a smile, and promises of momentum. In the first half of the year, investors have been buying that, knowing that -- in conventional terms -- HP is still one of the cheapest tech stocks you can buy.
But if Whitman had won her race to be governor of California in 2010, promises of tomorrow being better, and that austerity must be suffered, would not be working two years in. She's hoping shareholders are more patient than voters, still telling people to trust her while results remain promises and not facts on the ground. How much longer is that going to work? I give it six months. If HP hasn't made real progress on its biggest problems by January, calls for radical change are going to grow louder. At the time of publication, the author owned shares of GOOG.Follow @DanaBlankenhorThis article is commentary by an independent contributor, separate from TheStreet's regular news coverage.